The Cast: (In alphabetical order)
Christine Germano → Abby Neill
Christine Germano is the Director of the Constant Arts Society, an Aboriginal arts organization whose board of directors is predominately First Nations and Inuit. Christine’s knowledge of mental illness comes from her lived experience of growing up with a mother who is bi-polar and an alcoholic. She started the organization to honor her brother Constant who died at the age of 15 from suicide. As an artist she understands the healing power of the Arts. As a result she created the Through Our Eyes© Photo-Journalism Program designed to connect youth to their community through photography and creative writing. The program provides them with opportunities to explore other mediums as outlets for self-expression and a means to build their self-esteem. Her photography has been exhibited in galleries internationally and is represented by the Lonsdale Gallery in Toronto. Her work can be found in various publications and websites including two large collections for the Canadian Government. Currently Christine works as the Communication Specialist for the United Nations in the Pacific for climate change, migration and relocation community projects.
Columpa C. Bobb* → Mia Williams
I am a survivor of genocide. My ancestors survived the murder of at least 70 million indigenous people in the America’s. My family has survived incarceration on what we now call reservations where in parts of Canada, many of us were not allowed to leave without federal permission until 1950. Indian Agents still controlled our movements into the rest of Canada as late as 1979. Having been tagged by the welfare system as a kid, I am a survivor of the scoop up generations. More Indigenous children are “in care” today than at the height of the residential school era.
My people die younger, more violently and more often than any other Canadian ethnic group. We are poorer. Our women and girls are at a higher risk of sexual violence and murder than any others. We are just over 3% of the population and make up a third of the prison system. We continue to be an oppressed and institutionalized people. There is no way that my mental health, my emotional sanity, my spiritual wellness and physical safety is unaffected by this. There is no way for me to be unaffected by the genocidal legacy I have inherited. It is constant and chronic and is as close to me as my next breath. It is a constant battle to obtain and maintain sanity amidst the carnage. I have been lucky enough to access help. Many of us are not so lucky. Many of us add to the statistics of being Indian and fall prey to the 6-10 times the national average of suicide attempts and completions. I understand, in every imaginable way, what it is to have my fragile human faculties compromised and how difficult it is to restore my rightful humanity, balance and well being. My respect to those who continue to struggle for their own.
Martin Filby → Jack Richards
Martin has lived in Vancouver off and on for the past five years, during which time he has been a street performer. When not in Vancouver, Martin travels around Canada, performing music and taking in the sights. While living in Montreal, Martin worked on a film set as a caterer, which piqued his interest in performing. When he heard about maladjusted, Martin got excited at the opportunity to be a part of a team that wanted to bring forward the problems of the mental health system; not just to make others aware, but to hopefully bring to light some solutions. Through many years of misdiagnoses, improper prescriptions, and countless therapies Martin is still working towards finding peace within his struggles with his own mental health. In this production Martin hopes to learn how others have coped in the fight against the mechanization of the system and to inform those who are clueless that there needs to be changes made to help those in crisis.
Micheala Hiltergerke → Danielle Willams
Micheala is very excited about being a part of the maladjusted tour. She is grateful for the chance to help create change especially with a subject so close to her heart like mental health. Micheala is 24 years old, born and raised in Prince George BC, for the past few years she has had the chance to travel and work throughout Canada. Micheala experienced some difficulty as a teenager, and after a brief interview with a psychiatrist was diagnosed with serious mental health issues and put on medications, which deeply affected her health and changed the course of her life. Micheala is a strong survivor of diagnostic labelling and treatment. At the age of 19 Micheala decided to stop all psychiatric medications and suffered through debilitating withdrawal effects completely on her own. She went on to complete high school with honors. Talking about this time in her life, Micheala says that the hardest part about the healing process is teaching one’s self that it is okay and normal to feel happy and excited, okay to feel sad and okay to feel angry. Micheala is stoked to be a part of maladjusted and hopes to shed some light on the stigma of a mental health label and the powerlessness of being diagnosed as: Crazy.
Pierre Leichner → Dr. Paul Devreaux
Pierre Leichner quit his work as an academic psychiatrist in 2010 to become a full time artist. He describes his practice as interdisciplinary and socially engaged. Most of his works address bio-psychosocial and spiritual issues simultaneously. His recent projects Connected, The GrassRoots Project and Contour put him in a collaborative dependency with living matter. He has an ongoing altered books project: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) Re-revised that draws on his previous experiences and knowledge as a psychiatrist and an artist. It questions the political and economic issues that are associated with psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. In participating in this play, Pierre hopes to bring out the conflict some health care professionals find themselves in, as well as some dehumanizing aspects of current clinical practice. He is a collective member of Gallery Gachet and a board member on the Community Arts Council of Vancouver. He obtained his BFA from Emily Carr University in 2007 and his MFA from Concordia University in 2011. Most of his works can be seen on his artist website: www.leichner.ca
Sam Bob* → Frank Williams
Sam is a Vancouver-based actor who has performed nationally in television, film, radio and theatre. He is a Jessie Richardson nominee for Best Actor by Vancouver Theatre Alliance in 1995 for Theatre for Living’s (then Headlines Theatre) production of Out of the Silence. Sam was also nominated for Best Actor by Edmonton’s Dreamspeaker’s Film Festival in 1996 for his performance in Dana Claxton’s film The Red Paper. Sam has performed in many Vancouver theatre productions such as Dry Lips Outta Move to Kapuskasing at the Arts Club, Paradise in the Wasteland with Tamahnous Theatre and Age of Iron, Farewell and Ecstasy of Rita Joe at the Firehall Arts Centre. Sam can currently be seen in the second season of APTN’s comedy Health Nut’z. He recently shot a film with Anthony Hopkins called Go With Her. Sam has several TV and film credits but he finds the true reward of working in the arts to be the active participation and mentoring of First Nation’s youth, in particular with the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre’s Thursday night Theatre Class. Sam’s connection to the story of maladjusted is his knowledge of the effects of Residential School trauma and related alcohol and drug issues.
*Appears with the generous permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
The Production Team: (In alphabetical order)
Candelario Andrade → Sound & Video Designer
Design credits include work with Theatre Replacement, Neworld Theatre, Electric Company, Arts Club, Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, Leaky Heaven, Conspiracy Theatre, Real Wheels, Urban Ink Productions and Rimini Protokoll (Germany). This is his second project with Theatre for Living. Under his own company Rough House, Cande recently co-created A Last Resort, co-written and Performed in collaboration with Camille Gingras. The show earned a Jessie Richardson Nomination for outstanding original script.
Carmen Alatorre → Costume Designer
Originally from Mexico City, Carmen earned her MFA degree in Theatre Design at the UBC and has worked as a theatre designer in Vancouver since 2006. Some of her local recent design credits include: Stickboy (Vancouver Opera); The King and I (Gateway); The Tragical Comedy of Punch and Judy (Caravan Farm Theatre); Driving Miss Daisy (Arts Club). Carmen is a proud member of Associated Designers of Canada. See more of her work at: www.carmenalatorre.com
Charlene Hellson → Support Person & Lighting Operator
Charlene Hellson is a proud member of the Siksika Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy. For the past 12 years she has worked in the field of mental health and forum theatre. Her experience as both a mental health clinician and administrator provide valuable insight into the lived experience of people entering into the mental health system as well as those who work within it. She brings this insight to projects such as Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe’s Indigenous Health Pathways at the University of Calgary which uses forum theatre to educate medical students and residents in regards to the health disparity Indigenous people face in Canada. It was during her time as a mental health coordinator for the Aboriginal Health Program that Charlene met David Diamond and became aware of the BC/Alberta tour of maladjusted, and the opportunity to take on the role of support person for the cast and liaison for the local mental health teams on the tour - a role she was born to play.
Chris Bouris → Webcast Master
Chris' media work has an emphasis on civic education. Chris' media goals are to broaden community understanding of contemporary social issues and facilitate greater community participation through online technologies. He has a Cooperative Education, BFA (Film) degree from Simon Fraser University.
Dafne Blanco → Production Manager, Graphic Designer & Webmaster
Dafne is thrilled to continue working for Theatre for Living now in the position of Office/Production Manager & Webmaster. Dafne was the Outreach Coordinator from 2004 to 2010 and from April 2012 to May 2013. She has been involved with several grassroots organizations and art groups since she arrived in Vancouver from Mexico in 1996, working on the areas of the Zapatista solidarity, Human Rights, Racism, Globalization, and other social issues. She also worked as an advocate for agriculture migrant rights, while freelancing as a web designer. Dafne has completed a degree in Graphic Design in the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Painting and ceramics creation has been a great passion of hers and she is hoping to focus on her artistic creation as well if she is able to garner the blessings of the Visual Arts deities. www.dafneblancovisualart.com
David Diamond → Artistic & Managing Director / Joker
David was a founding member of Vancouver’s Headlines Theatre in 1981(now called Theatre for Living) and has been Artistic Director since 1984. Coming out of a home that struggled with addiction and mental health issues, the content of maladjusted is quite personal. David has directed over 500 community-specific projects on issues such as racism, civic engagement, violence, addiction, street youth, intergenerational conflict and homelessness. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Harmony Award, the Jessie Richardson Award for Innovation in Theatre, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Fraser Valley and the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. In 2010 he was honoured to travel with the Governor General of Canada (Michaëlle Jean) as a Canadian Delegate in Africa. He is also a recipient of the Vancouver 2012 Mayor’s Arts Award for Community Engaged Art. David is the author of Theatre for Living: the art and science of community-based dialogue, which has a foreword by renowned systems theorist, Fritjof Capra and was honored with the American Alliance of Theatre and Education 2008 Distinguished Book Award. In 2012 the book was published in German by Ibidem under the title Theater zum Leben and is also currently being translated into Spanish.
David Ng → Outreach Coordinator
David is a queer feminist social justice advocate who has been actively involved in grassroots campaigning since he was 14 years old. He has since co-founded and worked on numerous campaigns and projects including youth sexual health initiatives, feminist anti-violence campaigns, anti racist projects, and other forms of fun, radical, anti-oppression work. Some of the projects he has worked on has included co-creating marketing and media for the book Picturing Transformation: Nexw-áyantsut - a book about a solidarity movement between First Nations and non-First Nations communities, as well as film editing for the Circles of Understanding residential school story project. He is also a facilitator with Out in Schools - a program that facilitates discussions with youth about homophobia and bullying, and he is the co-founder of the feminist and anti-racist solidarity blog LoveIntersections.com
Dima Alansari → Publicist
Dima first started her relationship with Theatre for Living making videos for Corporations in our Heads, an experiment about ways to evict corporate voices that occupy our collective psyche, directed by David Diamond. Dima is very honored to take on the role of publicist for maladjusted BC & Alberta tour as it allows her to align her interests in social justice, mental health, non profits, Indigenous communities and culture, theatre, and film. Since leaving Dubai in 2010 she has worked In Vancouver as a videographer, outreach coordinator, crowd funder and media consultant with various other organizations in Vancouver. Dima holds a masters degree in film with a background in theatre, dance, film and yoga. Dima continues to explore her artistic talents through film and theatre and is currently the artist-in-resident at urban ink productions and MT Space in Ontario where she is developing her play Return Home exploring parallel narratives between the Palestinian diaspora and the Indigenous people of Turtle Island. Dima is a founding collaborator in the film and theatre collective Salish Sea Productions which focuses on creating socially relevant works focusing on themes of social justice, human development, immigrant, indigenous and intercultural issues, women, youth & environment.
Dorothy Jenkins* → Stage Manager
Dorothy is a seasoned professional Stage Manager with decades of experience in the theatre. This will be her fifth Theatre for Living project, the first being after homelessness…, the second being Us and Them, then the original production of maladjusted, the BC/Alberta tour of Corporations in our Heads, and now the tour of maladjusted. She is delighted to be working with Theatre for Living once again.
Elisha Burrows → Technical Director
Elisha Burrows grew up in a theatre family and toured with the Caravan as child in the 1980’s. Since graduating from Simon Fraser in 1997, he has worked as a theatre and film technician and as a DOP and Director on documentary films and commercials and as a content producer on various multimedia projects. For the past six years he has worked as a Technical Director in both theatre and fine arts. Company credits include The Leaky Heaven Circus, Ruby Slipper Theatre, Pi Theatre, Touchstone Theatre, Caravan Farm Theatre and The New Forms Festival. This will be his third project as Technical Director for Theatre for Living.
Gerald King → Original Lighting Designer
Gerald’s designs have been seen with: Ballet British Columbia, Bard on The Beach, The Vancouver Opera, The National Ballet of Canada, The National Arts Centre, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Omaha, The Baltimore Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Edmonton Opera, Western Canada Theatre and numerous others. Some recent show credits include: Ubuntu- for Western Canada Theatre, Death of A Salesman and La Cage Aux Folles- Vancouver Playhouse, Romeo and Julietta and La Boheme- Vancouver Opera, Cats and Much Ado About Nothing- Theatre Calgary, Madama Butterfly- Opera Omaha, MacBeth and Taming of The Shrew- Bard on The Beach, The Secret Mask- Presentation House and Boeing Boeing- Arts Club Theatre.
Melissa Kuipers → Publicity & Outreach Assistant
Melissa is currently working towards her Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia, focusing on English and Sociology. She has always been interested in social justice, focusing particularly on issues surrounding homelessness, poverty, and mental health in Vancouver. She has worked at St. Paul’s Advocacy Office in Vancouver’s West End, advocating for low-income and homeless individuals, and assisting with outreach initiatives. Melissa is thrilled to join the Theatre for Living team for the maladjusted tour!
Michael Keeping → Tele/webcast Director
Michael started working in film and television when he was 13 years old. By 16 years old, as a volunteer at Rogers Cable TV Toronto he was directing and switching live TV programs. Over the past 40 years Michael has produced well over 5000 broadcast hours. He currently produces a number of access shows for Shaw TV. Michael has also been a 28-year supporter of Theatre for the Living by producing and directing their television coverage. Michael learned the art of Foley at the CBC in 1981. Since then, through his company TraxStars Entertainment Inc. he has worked with over 50 TV series, for a full list you can check out the Internet Movie Data Base IMDB.com under Michael Keeping. He has won one Gemini for Ice Pilots NWT, 6 Leo Awards and has been nominated for two Prix Genie Awards and four Gemini Awards for his sound work.
Robyn Volk → Crew
This is Robyn’s third tour with Theatre for Living, having gone on the road with David Diamond twice before with the tour of METH. She normally works at the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver in the prop shop, toiling away by making props, which is actually a really fun job to toil at! Sometimes she works for other theatre companies like Radix Theatre, which is a site-specific theatre company that taxes her problem solving skills. She is looking forward to some time on the road with maladjusted and taking in attractions along the way.
Susan Shank → Financial Administrator
Susan Shank Day has extensive financial and administrative experience in the arts. For a decade, Susan was the administrator for Touchstone Theatre Society. She is also the contract coordinator for Gateway Theatre and has done bookkeeping for The Firehall Arts Centre - but her favorite job is being the mom of her two children! Susan has a BA from SFU with a concentration in Theatre. Over the years she has had experience as an actor, writer, teacher, programmer and producer. Susan is delighted to be working with Theatre for Living.
Tim Cardinal → Lighting Technical Director & Tour Lighting Designer
Tim has been working in theatre in Vancouver for 20 years. He toured with Theatre for Living’s productions, Out of the silence in 1992, METH in 2006 and Shattering in 2008. He is really pleased to be working with Theatre for Living for the BC & Alberta tour of maladjusted. When not plying his trade, Tim can be found watching hockey games, cheering for the Canucks.
Yvan Morissette → Set & Props Designer
Yvan is very happy to be back working with Theatre for Living, where he’s previously designed the productions of Us and Them, after homelessness..., METH and Thir$ty. His design work has been seen on most stages around Vancouver, including the Arts Club Theatre, the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Rumble Productions and Touchstones Theatre among others. Yvan also teaches in the Design Formation program at Langara College, and would like to thank his partner Kat and daughter Alexina for their love and support.